Granville Island Tea Co
Popular Teas from Granville Island Tea CoSee All 51 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Life has hit a few bumps lately for me so it’s been awhile since I’ve had the chance to peruse Steepster. Those of you who are waiting on packages from me – I’ll deal with those in the next few days.
Now on to the tea. This particular tea is a Ceylon from the Uva region of Sri Lanka. I picked up the last time I visited the shop in the Granville Island Public market (which is a wonderful place, BTW) and according to the owner this one they only recently acquired.
To be honest I was expecting something with a bit more flavour. It has a generic tea taste and…that’s it, mostly. The body of the tea is quite light, even with an extended steeping but oddly enough I found I still needed to add milk in the end to smooth out the taste. It would make a good introductory loose-leaf black tea I think, or maybe for an afternoon tea where you don’t necessarily want a robust, full-flavoured brew.
My boyfriend came across this cool recipe for tea-infused creme brulée – it actually called for earl grey tea but I couldn’t find any of that variety (I’m sure I’ve got some somewhere, it’s just buried in the depths of my cupboard) so we decided to use this tea instead. The result was quite delicious with the creme brulée bringing out the sweet grenadine flavours and mellowing out the tannins in the tea. Yummy!
The last time I was in the Granville Island Tea Co in Vancouver they’d just got several new oolong teas in stock and I grabbed a small sample of this one to try as it was fairly expensive I seem to recall.
It’s clearly a fairly green oolong which the floral aroma seems to bear out. There’s also some sort of small, purple flower that’s mixed in with the loosely-rolled tea leaves, though I think that’s more for visual appeal than anything else.
There’s a surprising bakey note at the start of each sip but that fades into a smooth, slightly floral flavour at the end. There’s also hints of sweetness and maybe something vegetal mixed in with everything. This oolong kept its flavour well for several steeps and stayed pretty consistant throughout.
It doesn’t quite beat the awesome Iron Goddess of Mercy that this tea company also carries, but it’s a good, easy-drinking tea.
Yesterday I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, so I didn’t get a chance to sit down and really have a cup of tea, apart from the cold brewed tea at lunch. It felt so wrong! I mean, I’m used to not having tea on the weekends, especially in the summer, because I don’t do a lot of tea drinking at home, but at work I almost always have my morning and afternoon teas, and I had neither!
Anyway, today should be a bit better. This tea smells lemony and citrusy and bright, and should definitely help perk me up this morning. This cup doesn’t have the very slight bitterness that the first one had. The black tea base is very smooth this morning, with the bright lemongrass and citrus popping through and almost making my tongue tingle.
I really am kind of compulsive about trying all the new teas I haven’t tried yet before going back to the rest of my cupboard. I’ll occasionally return for something specific (see: yesterday’s jasmine tea), but not too frequently. Thanks to Jillian for sending me another Earl Grey to try! I love a nice traditional EG, but I also tend to really enjoy EGs with extras like lemongrass and other citrus in them.
Brewed up, this one smells citrusy and lemongrassy. These notes give the flavor an extremely bright edge; you can rarely hide lemongrass in a blend, and that’s the case here. Fortunately I like lemongrass! But if you don’t this isn’t the tea for you. The bergamot in this is still a featured flavor, but everything else added means that it’s very citrusy and fruity. There’s a faint hint of astringency and bitterness, but not enough to bother me for this cup. All in all, a nice “alternative” Earl Grey and one I might consider keeping around for those times when I really want a lemony, citrusy Earl Grey.
This is an interesting take on the traditional earl grey tea. The orange and lemon flavours give the tea a tangy zip without the added pungency of bergamot. It goes surprisingly well with milk – though the result is a bit lighter than the traditional cuppa of earl grey in my opinion. It’s a nice tea to drink on a gorgeous, sunny morning like this one. _
The owner of the Granville Island Tea Co. told me that this is one of their most popular blends, though I do wonder if that has partially to do with the fact that Granville Island is a popular tourist destination and ice wine is becoming known as a rather Canadian sort of thing – like maple syrup.
I found the smell of this tea to be richly sweet and quite fruity\grapey. It doesn’t smell fermented or yeasty like actual wine might, which I’m thankful for as I think that would be rather off-putting. The flavour is quite strong and authentic as if I’d actually mixed ice wine with the black tea in my cup. The flavour is very wine-like but sweeter and with a hint of something a bit floral on the aftertaste.
I really enjoyed this blend; maybe next time I’m in Vancouver I’ll buy a full pouch rather than the little sample of it got on my last visit.
This is a pretty classic black tea blend and the Granville Island Tea Co does it quite well. The tea is a bit on the astringent side, which actually ends up working with the lemon and strawberry flavours by bringing out the fruitiness. Milk or any sort of dairy would be a big no-no for this tea I think, although a bit of honey might work fine. It’s a light, summer-y sort of tea that brings to mind fancy afternoon tea parties out in the garden on a nice day. It would probably make a good iced brew for this reason as well.
Trying this again—five minute steep now, instead of four. It’s really… blech. Maybe I just don’t like wine flavours. But it honestly makes me think of soap. Grapy soap. There’s really no trace of the base in it—it’s weird. Still, I’m sipping it a lot in hopes that maybe the taste will grow on me. At the very least, I’m not spitting it out. And occasionally it does remind me of wine. More the smell, though. Well, I’ve got a good fifty grams of this to experiment with. Although it doesn’t seem like there’s much I can do. Certainly unique.
Edit: An aftertaste is developing and coating my mouth, I’ve noticed—and it’s definitely more grape-y and wine-y. I’m very on the fence about this one.
This is the other tea I picked up there. I believe he described it as a blend of many black teas, including vanilla and pomegranate. So naturally, it smells of Monk’s Blend. Well, Monk’s Blend with Assam.
The leaves are a mixture of orthodox and CTC, like Cream Irish Breakfast’s.
They list their steeping instructions as 2-3 minutes. I did four instead. Mild tea, makes me think of a slightly malty monk’s blend (Assam? Mild? I suppose it’s their tea ratios). This is definitely more of an afternoon blend. Nice, though. Liking it more than the Ice Wine, but I think that one might just require some special attention to steeping parameters.
The vanilla and pomegranate are definitely more hints in the background. But I think they compliment it well. Assam’s a bit drying on the tongue, but that’s to be expected.
Sipping this out of my brand new Dalek mug, which I picked up for ten bucks from Golden Age when I was headed back from Granville Island. The bus was passing it. I couldn’t NOT stop. Of course, I get in there and someone’s completely cleaned out the Doctor Who comics. NewWho I could understand, but there was NOTHING in Classic either. Just two division tabs with nothing between them. Sob. The only figures they had were Four and Newly-Regenerated-Five, as well as “Rassilon” (I ought to punch RTD) and the freaky-faced robotics from series five’s second episode. I thought for sure they’d have a 11-Doctors-Hundred-Dollar-Set stashed away, but alas. No Pertwee action figures for me.
Sitting at home drawing the Shalka Doctor comic, and contemplating my Oz and ComLit projects.
I’ve been on the lookout for a good ice wine tea. Seems only proper as a Canadian. I’ve already got maple.
I had a Baroness Grey while I was there, but wasn’t too pleased with it. Picked up fifty grams of this and their House blend as I left.
It’s very mild. The tea, I mean—it’s oddly tasteless. Difficult to describe—I’m not getting a hot water taste. Almost kind of soapy. Which probably isn’t good. The notes of wine are there in the smell (sans alcohol, which is normally all I can smell or taste whenever I try to consume liquor), and there are sweet notes as I sip. Very odd.
Mellow, though. Reminds me of chamomile, even though this is SUPPOSED to be black tea.
Edit: Tea’s gone cold now, and it’s a soapy but grapy taste. Huh.
Dry, the smell of the tea is really dominated by orange – in fact, I couldn’t pick up any chocolate at all. Steeped, the smell is much mellower, and the chocolate is just present enough to smooth things out while the orange sweetens things up.
The taste is lovely and light, and the chocolate and orange work well together to make a sweet, smooth flavour. I’m wondering if I should try steeping it a bit longer, though – the taste is a bit too light and gets a bit lost in the agave syrup I added.
Dry, the tea has a very, very strong vanilla scent. Once steeped, however, the vanilla is toned down and the other scents peek through. The scent is not particularly vanilla-y or hazelnut-y, though – it’s more milky.
The taste is smooth and pleasant – again, not really vanilla or hazelnut in particular, just smooth and nice, with some vanilla and hazelnut more in the back of the mouth.
Reducing the steeping time really helped get rid of some of that tree-bark taste this tea had. Now it’s more of a bakey flavour with some lightly spicy notes.
The second steep (@ 3:00) is light and sweet with notes of mild honey and fruit. The bakeiness is still there, faintly, mostly in the aftertaste.
I’m upping my rating of this tea – as it turns out the parameters just needed some tweaking.
I’m leaning towards liking the resteep (@4 min) of this tea more than the initial steep – it still has a bakiness to it but it’s much sweeter and it has sort of apricot or peach-like notes that come out – ‘stone fruit’ notes I think I’ve heard some people describe the taste.
By the third resteep (@5 min) I am noticing the flavour starting to taper off, however.